Monday, July 9, 2012

Business Incubators for Success

San Diego has been named the friendliest big city for businesses in California.  There are many businesses and organizations looking to support our city’s finest entrepreneurs with free or low cost incubation opportunities.
Business incubators are designed to support the successful development of new enterprises during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. Individual incubators typically work with one type of industry and are sponsored by both for-profit companies and non-profits. 
We are highlighting just a few programs in San Diego: KEYS for those who need retail space, EvoNexus for tech startups, Just Call Us Kitchen Rental for food businesses and the Zahn Center at San Diego State University (SDSU). If you have a startup in a different industry, stay on the lookout for an incubator that’s just right for your enterprise.
Kimco Realty, the nation’s largest owner and operator of neighborhood and community shopping centers, is giving out “KEYS” for a year of free retail space to qualified entrepreneurs.  Their Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start (KEYS) program is for startup entrepreneurs who plan on opening their first store, restaurant or other concept business. Qualified applicants will have access to a Kimco retail business counselor who will assist in selecting the right store location. The first year of rent is then FREE and upon completion of the first successful year, Kimco offers favorable four-year lease options to continue the enterprise. In California there are currently over 100 small shops available for KEYS participants. Learn more at: 
EvoNexus is a technology business incubator from CommNexus, a non-profit high-tech trade organization in San Diego. This completely pro-bono incubator provides qualified candidates with office space and access to their network of mentors, business contacts and venture capital firms. To date their companies have raised $82M in venture funding, created 300+ jobs and had six successful graduations.  They currently have 26 companies incubating and are always happy to accept new applications. Learn more about CommNexus and the EvoNexus center on their website:
Just Call Us Kitchen Rental is a commercial rental kitchen facility, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This kitchen space is available for hourly rental and includes an ample prep area, a separate dish sink and prep sink, and a large walk-in combo cooler and storage area. Whether its daily production runs or one-time catering events for 400+ guests, this kitchen facility is perfect for start-up food industry entrepreneurs who need a kitchen with low overhead costs. They have two locations in Clairemont Mesa and El Cajon. For more information:
If you or your partners are SDSU alumni, the on campus Zahn Center at San Diego State University nurtures entrepreneurial ideas from concepts into companies.  Business teams applying to the incubator program must include at least one senior or graduate business student from SDSU to qualify. Accepted candidates will be welcomed into the center to house and operate their businesses while collaborating with mentors and coaches to develop their businesses and even product prototypes. Visit their website for more information:
Accion San Diego strives to be your number one resource for microfinancing and small business support.  Stay up to date on our new programs and events designed to grow and strengthen small businesses in the San Diego at our website:

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